UFC Sale: Zuffa Reportedly Taking Bids For UFC Purchase

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In 2001, two brothers named Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta bought a fledgling mixed martial arts company named the UFC from Semaphore Entertainment Group (SEG) for $2 million. Today, Zuffa (the parent company of the UFC owned by the Fertittas) is reportedly taking bids for a 100% stake in the UFC; for bids ranging from $4 to $4.2 billion, according to FloCombat. Not a bad profit for a company that was considered to be dying in 2001.

UFC Sale: Zuffa Reportedly Taking Bids For UFC Purchase

Following their purchase in 2001, Dana White and the Fertittas managed to turn the company around, legitimizing the business, and in the process created the fastest growing sport in the world.  But now it seems that the time may have come for White and the Fertittas to make their exit from the industry, as White has stated that he would leave the UFC if it is sold (which would undoubtedly make many UFC fans happy).

Though White has often denied that the UFC was for sale, he did say on on the Dan Patrick Show last month that, “Obviously, if I’m in the middle of a deal right now, there’s a lot of confidentiality involved in it. “We’re working on expanding. We’re working on growing the company and moving into other territories like China and Japan, Korea. So, yeah, we’re always working on deals.”

Despite White’s coyness, FloCombat broke the news that not only is Zuffa listening to bids for the purchase of the UFC, but that the sale is being facilitated by Goldman Sachs, and that in their words, a sale “will be executed imminently”.

One source said that the highest current bid is from a group that combines both the William Morris Endeavor Agency (WME) and The Dalian Wanda Group (a Chinese conglomerate). Additionally, ESPN‘s Darren Rovell, a sports business analyst, reported that Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, is also part of the group with WME and Dalian.

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